MLB playoff photo: standings, projections, bracket, new format explained as Yankees clinch berth


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The 2022 Major League Baseball season is coming to an end and the focus is on the race for playoff spots. Four teams (the Dodgers, Astros, Mets and Braves) have qualified for the playoffs, but there’s still a lot at stake with less than two weeks left in the regular season.

The leader in the competition evaders became the first team to earn a playoff berth, and did so last week (after some initial confusion). Los Angeles then took its ninth NL West title in 10 years. The Astros won the AL West Monday night, the same day the Mets secured their first playoff spot since 2016. on Thursday.

The NL East and AL Central are still hotly contested, and in the NL the Scouts, Philliesand brewers compete for the last two wildcard places. In the AL, the Shine, blue jaysand sailors are essentially locked into the three wildcard spots and fighting over seeding.

Now let’s take a look at the detailed standings, current play-off matchups and post-season odds, and let’s not forget that the post-season structure is different from this year on.

Popped spots

  • Dodgers: Popped NL West, first round bye
  • Astros: took AL West, bye first round
  • Mets: Popped playoff berth
  • Braves: berth for play-offs
  • Yankees: berth for playoffs

The new play-off format for 12 teams

During the recent negotiations on the new collective bargaining agreement, players and owners agreed on a new and expanded postseason structure. That new structure starts with the current season, and here’s a reminder of how it will work.

  • The postseason field grows from 10 teams to 12 teams with the addition of an additional wildcard entrant in each league.
  • The Wild Card Game has been replaced by the best-of-three Wild Card Series, which serves as the first round of play. The higher seed in each Wild Card series will host all games of that series, be it two or the maximum three games.
  • The top two division winners in each league, as determined by the best overall record during the regular season, will receive a first round bye. That means they go straight to the best-of-five Division Series which acts as the second round.
  • The four participants in the wildcard round in each competition are the division winner with the worst record among division winners and the three non-division winners with the best records. That division winner is automatically the No. 3 seed, regardless of whether any or all of the other wildcard teams have a better record.
  • To recap, here’s how playoff placement in each league will work – No. 1 seed (goodbye to LDS): Best record in league; Number 2 seed (goodbye LDS): second best record among division winners; Number 3 seed: third best record among division winners; Number 4 seed: Best record among wildcard teams; Number 5 seed: second best record among wildcard teams; Number 6 seed: 3rd best record among wildcard teams.
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The League Championship Series and World Series remain best-of-seven series, with home field advantage going to the team with the best record in each series. Please note that there is no reseeding after each round.

I get it? This is where things are now when it comes to the races for these moorings and seeds.

If the season ended today…

American league

  • bye: No. 1 Astros and No. 2 Yankees
  • Wildcard Series: no. 5 Rays at No. 4 Blue Jays (winner faces No. 1 seed)
  • Wildcard Series: No. 6 Mariners at No. 3 guards (winner stands for No. 2 seed)

National League

  • bye: No. 1 Dodgers and No. 2 Mets
  • Wildcard Series: No. 5 Padres at No. 4 Braves (winner vs. No. 1 seed)
  • Wildcard Series: No. 6 Phillies at No. 3 cardinals (winner stands for No. 2 seed)

MLB standings

(Post-season projections are from SportsLine; extensive standings can be viewed here)

Houston (popped AL West) 99 52 100.0%
Seattle 82 67 16.0 99.5%
Texas (eliminated) 65 84 33.0 0.0%
L.A. Angels (eliminated) 65 85 33.5 0.0%
Oakland (turned off) 55 95 43.5 0.0%

MLB Wildcard Leaderboard

Atlanta (popped playoff berth) 93 57 +10.5
San Diego 83 67 +0.5
Philadelphia 82 67
Milwaukee 80 70 2.5